Match Made in Heaven
Everyone seeking to hire someone secretly dreams for that ‘Match made in heaven’ where they get the ‘perfect’ candidate and they just fit in so well to the organisation. One can only conclude from Gallup research on engagement in the workplace, that finding that Match made in heaven is happening much less than we would like to believe. (Gallup Statistics – close to 80% of people are either not engaged or actively disengaged in the workforce) – provide reference.
While the recruiting process is only part of the overall organisational engagement statistics, it is a crucial one. Finding the right ‘fit’ for a role is an incredibly important part of the longer term engagement process.
Many years ago (yes it is quite a few) I was a young leader looking after a team of 6 people in a large corporation. We were a hub of important activity for the broader business managing the pricing data that provided vital weekly information for the sales and reporting teams among a host of other things. The team itself was quite talented and brought a great attitude and ‘can do’ culture to their daily work. It was a pleasure to lead them. One of our team got promoted and we had a vacancy to fill. I was excited to discover our parent company wanted to provide global exposure to one of their former graduates and I willing took on this person as she came highly recommended. Unfortunately I quickly found out that while she was a great team person with a great attitude and values, her talents were not a great fit for the role she was in – business analyst. How did I find this out you ask – errors starting appearing in the weekly pricing reports, substantial errors going out to thousands of customers! It caused significant stress for both our team members, the customer service teams and the Sales channel. At first I put it down to the fact that we hadn’t provided enough training, so we doubled up on the training and gave her a specific mentor to work alongside her. While we recovered the situation, the following month the same problem surfaced again in another part of her role, again impacting many customers.
At the time as a young leader I didn’t have the tools available today to review her natural talents for the role, however it was coming to my attention the hard way. Her Natural her talents were not in this zone no matter how hard we tried. Being passionate about serving our stakeholders well I reluctantly put this new recruit on a performance plan with weekly reviews. Our conversations around her performance revealed a stressed person struggling to cope. “My mind just doesn’t work with numbers that well. I am much more comfortable in a relaxed environment talking with people – I don’t think I am suited to this role”. Within two weeks she had found another role which suited her great talents and she happily moved on.
It was a great lesson for me as a young leader – look for the underlying talent and match it to the role. We can all fake an interview (and many of us are trained to do so) but we can’t fake the underlying talent assessments that makes us the great people we are. We owe it to ourselves to work in careers that give us that great sense of contribution and belonging, that we play a part in a bigger picture.
Now we don’t have to ‘fit’ 100% to a role. I look forward a fit of natural talents greater than 70%. Why? Because when we are working in a role where for 70% of the time or more we are working within our natural talent and energy zone, we are able to make a great contribution. There will always be areas where we are required to do things outside out natural talent zone, that is our opportunity to grow and learn new skills that we can apply. Having this additional resource is brilliant and works well when we can draw upon it for small elements of our role, not the significant ones.
Finding the right ‘fit’ for the role is going to be increasingly important as we transition to a more digital and automated environment where it is estimated that 50% of the current roles will not exist by 2030 and an abundance of new roles will be created in new industries yet to be created.
Understand the natural talents of your candidates using psychometric tools
Ensure they have a relative fit to the role (>70%) using benchmarks for talent
Check the talents which are outside the zone and see whether they will have a significant impact or can they be managed well – Some talents are much more critical than others.
Malcolm Le Lievre